Higher Level ESL for the Internationally Trained

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Published March 2005. Some information in this article is outdated.

Joe Volpe, the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and Mary Anne Chambers, Ontario ‘s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced a joint initiative to strengthen higher level and job-specific language training for internationally trained newcomers in the province.

The Ontario government and CIC are jointly investing $3.4 million over two years to support 13 projects under the Enhanced Language Training Initiative. The projects are part of the provincial government’s agreement with the federal government to cost-share 50-50 the Enhanced Language Training Initiative of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“One of the keys to our continued prosperity and competitiveness will be the degree to which foreign-trained professionals and skilled workers are able to successfully integrate into society and our workforce,” said Volpe. “The Government of Canada invests $20 million annually in its Enhanced Language Training Initiative and I am pleased to work with Ontario so that more immigrants can pursue professions and trades that make full use of the talents and skills they bring to Canada.”

The projects will deliver job-specific language training to more than 1,300 internationally trained professionals to help them make the transition to Ontario ‘s workforce.

This investment is part of the Ontario government’s $12.5 million annual commitment to improve access for the internationally trained to their chosen professions and trades.

While the provincial and federal governments have a long history of providing basic English and French as second language programs, the issue for internationally trained individuals has been the requirement for higher level language skills that are specific to each occupation.

“The funding will allow us to develop and deliver higher level language training that will help newcomers carry out successful job searches and work effectively in our workplaces,” said Phyllis Sereda, Executive Director of the Peel Adult Learning Centre in Mississauga.

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